Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Haddad Adel's Manuever

Farideh Farhi suggests that yesterday's political loss for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may owe more to parliament speaker Gholamali Haddad Adel that Ayatollah Khamene'i:
"In Iran, though, the commentary was much more skeptical and focused not on Khamenei’s action but Haddad Adel’s. Why did he publicize this? Why did he do it now? To some the move was a good one but rather late. After all, as one current reformist deputy put it, Ahmadinejad has repeatedly violated legislative authority on financial matters by making promises of major projects in his numerous provincial trips without going through the required funding process in the parliament. Even more problematic the parliamentary leadership had said nothing despite repeated complaints by various deputies.

"A couple of conservative deputies, frustrated by the parliamentary leadership’s passivity, were more brutal, pointing out that Ahmadinejad’s unilateral moves had undermined and weakened the institution of the parliament which instead of 'being behind the government was more held in its fist.' This is why to them what Haddad Adel did seemed more like a 'propaganda move' to hide the lowering of the status or weakening of the parliament that had occurred under Haddad Adel’s own leadership.

"Etemad newspaper saw the move less in terms of shaping public opinion and more as part and parcel of an attempt to force the conservative coalition to place Haddad Adel on top of its list of candidates for the city of Tehran, enhancing his chance of re-election but also for becoming a speaker again. This was more than anything else 'a message about Haddad Adel’s spiritual influence and current position in the Islamic republic and that because of this influence the conservative leadership has no other choice but to accept him as the list leader and probably his leadership again in the 8th parliament.' One deputy quoted in the Etemad piece even goes so far as to suggest that the whole thing was a mere personal feud between the two men."



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